Austin GP: Yes, No, Maybe So…

02/08/2011 @ 5:22 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

While the Indianapolis GP has been renewed for another season, talk continues to swell regarding the Brickyard, and whether it will remain on the MotoGP calendar. While a notably historic track in the United States, and a venue capable of easily handling an event like GP racing, track conditions at Indianapolis weighed heavily on riders’ minds while contending with the midwest circuit this past season.

With members of the GP safety commission audibly displeased with the track’s layout and and changing tarmac patches, and a new GP-quality track in Austin, Texas currently being built, the writing appears to be on the wall for Indy. Playing host to Formula One US GP (which ironically used to be held at Indianapolis) from 2012 to 2021, the new track in Austin has however denied talks with MotoGP, and having the series race at its venue. But don’t believe everything you hear.

Dorna boss man Carmelo Ezpeleta has confirmed that he has been in talks with the Texan track, and is eying perhaps a 2013 date with the circuit. Willing to let Formula One take the lead on that locale, Carmelo has simply stated that “it’s a very nice project,” and something he is watching closely. To date, the biggest bargaining chip that Indy has been able to play is the lack of circuits in the United States for GP racing.

Not only must a track meet FIM requirements for safety, distance, and accommodations in order to be in MotoGP’s consideration, but geography plays an integral role as to whether a venue can profitably host such an event. With the only other possibility right now virtually being Miller Motorsports Park, home to the American World Superbike round, MotoGP’s choice with Indy is to either run there, or at an entirely different country (India seems to be high on the list, with another Formula One venue to take place there as well).

While it looks like Indianapolis will be secure in renewing its one-year contract with Dorna this season, expect to see another one-year commitment, and some very tense track officials at the Brickyard this August.

Source: AutoWeekSport Rider

  • Another crappy “made for television” circuit. Why can’t the circuit designers plan a track that actually is good for racing? Who needs stop/start racing? Where are the sweeping, high-speed corners like the Parabolica at Monza or the similarly named corner at Estoril? They wonder why people don’t want to watch the racing. It’s because the tracks are garbage.

  • Kev

    Finally, Its about time people look past the “Brickyard” and see that there are other venues that could more successfully host a US MotoGP event. I will all ways support Laguna Seca but a second race in Austin would be fantastic!

  • Shaitan

    It should have a crocodile pit or shark water trap and perhaps a topless sunbathing corner just to give the MotoGP riders things to fear (since we know most topless beaches don’t have pretty people anyhow), because the track layout looks kinda dull.

    Then again, so long as the run offs are build safe, the corners wide enough to allow passing, the spectator areas well shaded, and the track surface well maintained it’s a win-win for the U.S.

  • Philip

    I agree that Indy should be dropped from the list of MotoGP circuits, last season proved how inadequate and unsafe that track has become for motorcycle racing – not to mention it’s hideous. However, as much as I love the Laguna Seca GP, the US should have at least one more track that hosts these races if Dorna wants to keep/increase its presence in the states. I think Austin would be fantastic not only because it’s a beautiful city but two highly notable riders in Spies and Edwards are both Texans. Not to mention that words would could not describe how ecstatic I would be if I could ride my bike up there from Houston for a weekend of GP racing!!

  • RSVDan

    I’m really not getting some folks are calling this track dull! It’s far superior to Indy in every way, and Austin is a hell of a lot more fun than Indianapolis to visit, not to mention cheaper! Take another look at the track from the overhead perspective and you get a better idea of the layout. The elevation rendering gives it a strange perspective. The track is long, has a great combination of flowing sections, technical bits, and a long, fast straight combined with some vicious elevation changes. That turn one charge up the hill is gonna be epic!

    Here’s another perspective of the track:

    I say bring on Austin!

  • You forgot to mention the better food Dan. A&R is powered by burritos, and really should be sponsored by Chipotle.

  • wayne

    I have been hoping MotoGP would be in talks with these guys since my buddy, who lives outside Austin, hipped me to the build. After the last Indy GP, I thought it would be the *last* Indy GP based on how the riders were talking. I can’t see this being anything but good for motorcycle racing in the US, the city of Austin and Dorna. And having friends outside Austin where I could crash for free ain’t bad either!

  • Mike L.

    Um, pretty opinionated after seeing a line drawing, eh?

    Road America! It needs some mods, but not many.

    Anyway, as a former racer I can tell you that all tracks are good except the bumpy ones.

  • Mike L.

    Oh, and Phoenix. And Mid Ohio. and Sears when it was so dangerous. Ok, lots of tracks might be a little sketchy and very scary…but not new, wide, smooth ones- they’re all good.

  • Damo


    I am not sure why people are saying this track looks dull either. People are probably just shitting on it because it is another American course.

  • RSVDan

    @ Mike L.

    I agree Road America is a great track as well, but it will never host a GP. It’s in the middle of nowhere! When Sheboygan is your closest city, I doubt DORNA will have much interest, or many other folks for that matter. The infrastructure just isn’t in place. Where are 50,000+ people going to stay, eat and shop?

  • RSVDan – that is a good question to contemplate over a beverage. Road America will have the track map bottle opener/key chain available for sale this season. Check them out.